- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 27, 2014

NASA scientists say they found a few new planets — 715 to be exact — orbiting stars other than our own solar system’s sun.

“What we’ve been able to do … is strike the mother lode, get a veritable exoplanet bonanza,” said planetary scientist Jack Lissauer of the NASA Ames Research Center, in USA Today.

The finding is historic. Researchers have found batches of planets located outside the solar system on past occasions, but they’ve never sound so many that have been verified “exoplanets,” they said in the USA Today report.

The new findings nearly double the number of confirmed planets that have been recorded in scientific books.

The planets were discovered using information taken from NASA’s Kepler spacecraft. Most are small, and they follow a similar path to our own system: They’re traveling around one star, in a circular route on a flat path, scientist Jason Rowe of the SETI Institute said, USA Today reported.

“That reminds me of something, and that’s home,” he said in the media outlet. “It’s interesting to look at the Kepler data set and see all these scaled-down versions of our own solar system.”